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jdou86

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- Homework Statement
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- Relevant Equations
- GRE PHysics

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- Thread starter jdou86
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In summary, to determine the uncertainty on the rate from a measurement of 100 counts in 7 seconds, you will need to use a larger number of counts to achieve a lower uncertainty. The goal is to get to an uncertainty of 1% or less. A rough estimate of the decay rate can be obtained using the existing measurements to determine the time needed to accumulate 10000 counts.

- #1

jdou86

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- Homework Statement
- GRE

- Relevant Equations
- GRE PHysics

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- #2

mfb

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I extended the title to be more descriptive of the problem statement.

If you have a measurement, e.g. 100 counts in 7 seconds, what will your uncertainty on the rate be?

- #3

jdou86

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10 since since sigma is sqrt of N so I set sqrtN/N=0.1 but that didn't get me very far

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Vanadium 50

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jdou86 said:but that didn't get me very far

These problems take longer than a second to solve. Why don't you write down your strategy for solving this. In words.

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mfb

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Well, that is an important step already. An uncertainty of 10 is an uncertainty of 10% here. Too much, you'll need more counts to get to 1%...jdou86 said:10 since since sigma is sqrt of N so I set sqrtN/N=0.1 but that didn't get me very far

- #6

jdou86

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I'm good thanksVanadium 50 said:These problems take longer than a second to solve. Why don't you write down your strategy for solving this. In words.

- #7

jdou86

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Sorry it's supposed to be 0.01 but it still won't make sense because 10,000 counts represents 1000s measurement.mfb said:Well, that is an important step already. An uncertainty of 10 is an uncertainty of 10% here. Too much, you'll need more counts to get to 1%...

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mfb

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The half-life of a radioactive element is determined by measuring the time it takes for half of the initial amount of the element to decay. This can be done through repeated measurements and calculations, or by using advanced techniques such as mass spectrometry.

The half-life is an important measure in radioactive decay because it is a constant value for each element, and can be used to predict the rate of decay. It is also used in various applications, such as determining the age of fossils or artifacts in archaeology.

Scientists use statistics to analyze and interpret the data collected from measurements of radioactive decay. This includes calculating the average rate of decay, determining the uncertainty of measurements, and making predictions about future decay events.

No, statistics cannot be used to predict when a specific atom will decay. While the half-life can be used to predict the overall rate of decay for a large number of atoms, it is impossible to know exactly when a single atom will decay, as it is a random and unpredictable process.

Radioactive decay is a random process, and therefore follows a statistical probability distribution. This means that while we cannot predict when a specific atom will decay, we can make predictions about the overall behavior of a large number of atoms based on statistical analysis.

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